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New Report Outlines Strategies to Keep Buildings Functioning Post-Disaster

August 22, 2018 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Are today’s buildings and businesses really built to bounce back from a major catastrophe? New research recently presented to the U.S. Congress outlines our current capabilities and outlines a potential path forward to improve resilience in the face of disaster.

A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) looked at the current standards and codes for residential and commercial buildings. It found that while the current focus is on reducing significant building damage from hazards, they don’t address “immediate occupancy” – keeping buildings habitable and functioning as normally as possible immediately following a disaster.

“Cities and towns can be rebuilt, but lifestyles are damaged, sometimes permanently, if businesses, schools, utilities, transportation and other essential operations are out of service for an extended period,” said Therese McAllister, manager of NIST’s Community Resilience Program and one of the authors of the paper.

The report identifies multiple immediate occupancy performance measures that could potentially build up community resiliency against natural hazards in four key areas:

  • Building design
  • Community needs
  • Economic and social impacts, and
  • Fostering acceptance and use of new practices.

It also addresses the major challenges to implementing such efforts, including motivating communities to make the investment, balancing costs and benefits, and garnering public support.

Click here to read the complete report, Research Needs to Support Immediate Occupancy Building Performance Objective Following Natural Hazard Events (downloadable PDF).